We must transform education to achieve SDG 4 goals: educator » Capital News

By Griffin Asigo, Managing Director – Bridge Kenya

NAIROBI, Kenya, 23 September – Earlier this week, the United Nations Secretary-General convened the Transforming Education Summit during the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly.

The Summit saw several presentations from different Heads of State and Government on how they are transforming education in their countries.

Convened in response to a global education crisis – a crisis of equity and inclusion, quality and relevance, the Summit aimed to provide a unique opportunity to elevate education to the top of the global political agenda. and to mobilize action, ambition, solidarity and solutions to recoup pandemic-related learning losses and sow the seeds to transform education in a rapidly changing world.

The Kenyan delegation to the Summit presented a report and statement on education transformation which was prepared by the Ministry of Education in collaboration with partners through county and national level consultations with stakeholders education.

Stakeholders consulted included learners, teachers, parents, school leaders, the private sector, civil society organizations and youth TVET, universities and out-of-school individuals.

During the Summit, the delegation presented the reforms that have been implemented to establish an education system focused on relevance, equity and inclusion. More recently, the government launched the most comprehensive education reform since 1981, which saw the introduction of the Competency Based Curriculum (CBC). The objective of the CBC is to guarantee a basic education to each learner according to his abilities and needs.

According to the United Nations, education today is in complete upheaval. More than 90% of the world’s children have seen their education interrupted by the pandemic – the biggest disruption to education systems in history.

For many learners, especially girls, this pause can become permanent, with potential consequences for their future and for future generations that follow. The pandemic has also revealed great disparities not only between countries, but particularly between different groups of learners within countries.

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Students from Bridge Academy’s Mukuru School collaborate during a lesson/Bridge Academy

The pandemic has caused unprecedented disruption to social, economic and cultural life across the world. When educational institutions closed in Kenya in March 2020, nearly 18 million learners were affected, threatening the massive learning gains the country has made over the past decade.

A handful of innovative initiatives in the country have bridged the gap during the pandemic. A standout example is [email protected], which has enabled hundreds of students in well-served and underserved communities to learn through more than 800 WhatsApp virtual classrooms and an interactive mobile-phone quiz system available to students. students from urban and hard-to-reach areas.

Before the pandemic, the world was already grappling with the learning crisis with 70% of 10-year-olds, mostly from developing countries, unable to read and understand simple text. Today, the World Bank estimates that the learning losses caused by the covid-19 pandemic are the greatest in global education for a century.

As the UN Secretary-General calls on countries to transform their education systems to meet the demands of the modern age, these are school providers in the country who have been practicing transformative education models for over a decade. now.

Academies like Bridge International Academies have leveraged innovation and technology to scale up learning for children in underserved communities.

The learning results were excellent. Since 2015, tens of thousands of Bridge students have excelled in national exams and earned places in some of the top national schools in the country. Today, the Bridge model has been widely replicated and underpins public education transformation programs supporting over one million children a day across Africa.

Confirming this pattern, a recent independent study by Professor Michael Kremer of the University of Chicago found that freshmen at Bridge International Academies are more than three times more likely to be able to read than their peers at other schools.

The study reveals that after two years, primary students at Bridge International Academies have almost an extra year of learning ahead of children taught using standard methods. For pre-primary students, children gain almost an extra year and a half, learning in two years what children in other schools learn in three and a half years.

Professor Michael Kremer’s study shows that the Bridge methodology has the potential to produce dramatic learning gains at scale and can be the solution to learning poverty if widely replicated.

To sustainably transform education, teachers must be at the heart of the transformation. The World Bank has called on countries to focus on the most important aspect of learning; teachers – calling on governments to ensure teachers are well supported.

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Bridge believes that improving teacher well-being and professional development is key to achieving excellent learning outcomes. With a data-driven approach, teachers and school leaders have technological tools to learn and develop their skills.

Each teacher receives tailor-made training. This training is followed by an ongoing personal development program. Learning and Development Coaches conduct live lesson observations and use them to provide teachers with practical insights on how to make their lessons even more impactful.

Innovation and technology are likely to play the most important role in transforming and building resilient education systems in modern times.

Embracing innovation and technology in education has the ability to build stronger education systems to reach more children, improve learning and teaching, and build resilience for withstand shocks such as Covid-19 disruptions. Now more than ever, it is time to transform our education in order to achieve the targets of SDG 4.

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